Planes bound for Birmingham Airport were forced to wait in the skies after a fluid spillage sparked delays for hundreds of Bank Holiday passengers.

The problems were caused by the discovery of hydraulic fluid on the runway just after 1pm on Monday.

An airport spokeswoman said a total of eight craft were affected with four waiting for permission to land and four flying out later than scheduled.

The fluid was cleared up within 40 minutes by a crew from the airport’s on-site fire station and less than 1,000 passengers were affected, she said.

Passengers on routes served by airlines Bmibaby, Flybe, Monarch and Ryanair were most affected by the spillage.

A Ryanair flight from Dublin was diverted to East Midlands Airport to refuel before it headed back to Birmingham.

The service, due to land at Birmingham at 1.30pm, finally arrived just before 3.30pm.

A Bmibaby flight from Malaga, due in at 1.35pm at Birmingham Airport, landed at 3.23pm, while a Monarch flight from Palma, which was due in at 1.25pm, touched down at 3.15pm.